Industry News

Freight Rate Update: April 2021

Ronald Vincent | M.E. Dey & Co.

 

Air Freight –  From Asia to the U.S. we are seeing rates increase again.  The lack of ocean space and some new product launches by importers have increased demand for air freight. Space has tightened and with this rates have increased 10-40% on some lanes.

Rates from Europe are also starting to increase as ocean freight space from Europe to the U.S. has tightened dramatically in the past 6 weeks.

 

Trans Atlantic Westbound – TAWB (import)

 

  • In the past 6 weeks import volumes from Europe have increased dramatically. Space is very very tight.
  • With this increased demand rates have now surged. Rates for April are now $ 500 – $ 2000 higher per container than rates for Q1. Many carriers have also implemented additional surcharges such as PSS (peak season surcharge), equipment repositioning charge, and others. These surcharges range from $ 200 – $ 800 per container.
  • Most carriers are now providing rates on a month-to-month basis. In the past, most would provide rates that were valid for at least 3 months. Thus, they are only accepting bookings one month in advance.
  • As mentioned above, space is extremely tight. We urge customers to book at least 4 weeks in advance. If you are able to provide us with a shipping/production schedule for the next 3 months or longer it will be very helpful.

 

Trans Atlantic Eastbound – TAEB (export)

 

  • Space continues to be tight with carriers reporting that on many lanes vessels are departing full. Currently, the biggest issue with export cargo is obtaining space.
  • Some of this is the result of an imbalance of containers. With import volumes spiking, carriers are having to commit additional space on export voyages to move empty containers back to Asia and Europe.
  • As well, exports for commercial goods are on the rise.
  • The continued congestion as U.S. ports is also affecting exports. We have seen some vessels skip certain U.S. ports due to congestion. This then results in bookings being rolled to the next vessel and/or a scramble to re-book with another carrier.
  • Some carriers have increased rates in the past month, with the average increase being about $ 100 per container.
  • At this time, some carriers are booked 2 -3 weeks in advance and we are seeing some bookings get rolled

 

Trans-Pacific Westbound – TPWB (export)

 

  • Similar to the situation on the TAEB services, carriers are reporting that on many lanes vessels are departing full. Currently, the biggest issue with export cargo is obtaining space.
  • Some of this is the result of an imbalance of containers. With import volumes spiking, carriers are having to commit additional space on export voyages to move empty containers back to Asia and Europe.
  • The continued congestion as U.S. ports is also affecting exports.  We have seen some vessels skip certain U.S. ports due to congestion.  This then results in bookings being rolled to the next vessel and/or a scramble to re-book with another carrier.
  • Some carriers have increased rates in the past month, with the average increase being about $ 100 per container.
  • At this time, some carriers are booked 2 -3 weeks in advance and we are seeing some bookings get rolled.

 

Trans-Pacific Eastbound – TPEB (import)

 

  • Space continues to be extremely tight after Chinese New Year particularly from southeast Asia ports and north China ports. We are seeing a bit of easing in southern China. Container availability in southern China is also a bit better.
  • Feedback and projections from our partners continue to be that volumes will remain at these levels through Q3.
  •  Rates have leveled off a bit, though at very high levels.
  •  As most current contracts expire on April 30th, there is a bit of a waiting game to see where rate levels end up in the new contracts. This will then set the market for biweekly ‘spot’ rates.
  • We continue to see steamship lines push ‘premium’ surcharges to ensure that equipment and space is available. The surcharges range from $ 1000 – $ 3000 per container.
  • We continue to see delayed berthing by ships at the west coast and east coast ports with many vessels sitting at anchor for 5 – 10 days while waiting for a berth.  This in turn delays vessels on their return voyages and the whole circular issue starts again.
  • Congestion at LA/LGB ports has eased a bit, but delays of 10 days or more are still common.

 We are continuing to monitor all lanes, ports, and services to provide you with the best possible service at the best possible price.


M.E. Dey and Co. monitors the market daily to find competitive rates that pair well with exceptional transportation services. We provide fixed-rate contracts in addition to standard market rates. Contact us to talk with a representative or request a quote to get started.

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